Independent councillor Michael O’Brien has expressed disappointment that a motion he put forward at Monday’s council meeting for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis was not carried by his colleagues.
Cllr O’Brien was calling for Westmeath County Council to write to the Minister for Health to ask him to consider legalising cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.
However his motion was defeated after receiving support from just five out of the 20 councillors present.
“I am disappointed, as there has been a lot of talk about it in the media, and a huge amount of anecdotal evidence out there about the benefits. Maybe some wanted to but couldn’t bring themselves to support it. I am disappointed that councillors weren’t more informed, with many of them citing a lack of knowledge.”
Cllr O’Brien said that when he started to research the subject, he was amazed at the benefits of cannabis oil for cancer and a plethora of other illnesses and conditions, including asthma, heart health, pain relief, skin problems, eye health, seizures, Parkinsons, and Alzheimer’s.
He said he has spoken to people who were suffering from cancer, and have no trace of cancer now having used cannabis oil, as well as a parent whose daughter’s seizures had been drastically reduced.
“The benefits are too valuable to simply ignore. I am not proposing it as a cure, but it does offer another card to play in the case of illness. Anyone can go online and see the evidence there,” he said.
Cllr O’Brien says he will continue to fight for the legalisation of cannabis oil, and has already had huge positive reaction since raising it at council level.
He is supported in his calls by Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, who said the use of medicinal cannabis “has proven to have a significant and positive impact on patients with a range of illnesses”.
A Bill on the matter is to be debated in the Dáil today (Thursday ).